The caries pattern of primary teeth and its determinants among 5-7-year-old children in Tehran, Iran

Pegah Khazaei, Mona Hamedani-Golshan, Hossein Hessari


BACKGROUND AND AIM: Dental caries is one of the most common chronic diseases in children that affects oral health, general health, and quality of life; and often leads to pain and discomfort when left untreated. This study aimed to evaluate the severity and location of dental caries based on background determinants, nutritional status, oral health behaviors, and fluoride therapy status in the primary teeth of children aged 5-7 years old in Tehran, Iran.

METHODS: This descriptive-analytical cross-sectional study was performed on 572 children. Data were collected by two calibrated dentists by a questionnaire in 4 parts: demographic information, medical history, nutritional status, and oral health behaviors. The severity and location (surfaces) of dental caries were recorded for canine, primary first and second molar teeth according to the World Health Organization (WHO) criteria. Data were analyzed with backward linear regression analyses.

RESULTS: The mean of decayed, missing, filled teeth (DMFT) was 4.9 for all examined teeth. Dental caries was more prevalent in boys [odds ratio (OR) = 1.83, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.81-2.80], those who had dental visits due to dental problems with pain (OR = 1.17, 95% CI: 0.73-1.60), and those who did not receive fluoride therapy (OR = 1.64, 95% CI: 0.58-2.60). The mandibular jaw had a higher frequency of carious surfaces. Proximal caries was about
0.47 times higher in non-affluent versus affluent areas (95% CI: 0.06-0.90). Buccolingual caries was 0.25 times more prevalent in boys than girls (95% CI: 0.04-0.50), and occlusal caries was 0.5 times more frequent in children with irregular fluoride therapy than those with regular one (95% CI: 0.06-0.90).

CONCLUSION: Gender, mother's level of education, type of snack consumption, age when the child started tooth brushing, fluoride therapy, and reason for dental visit affected the severity of dental caries.


Dental Caries; Children; Risk Factors; Diet; Oral Hygiene; Decayed, Missing, Filled Index

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